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Poster: Cliff Hucker Date: Mar 29, 2010 6:13am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: good things about the 80's (for the haties)

I couldnt agree more about the drummers. How the drums went, so went the show!

However I dont think think that there is a single performance during the 80's where Jer had "strong vocals" His voice was shot by '78 and never recovered...

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Poster: mdewdcreek Date: Mar 29, 2010 9:27am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: good things about the 80's (for the haties)

Are you kidding? Jerrys voice was far from shot from 79-83. Its after 83 when he started sounding like a gruff old man. I would agree to the point that perhaps his vocals were not quite as smooth sounding beyond 78/79...but to say his voice was shot? Come on, you can be an eighties hater all you want, but I bet no one else can honestly agree with your statement about his voice being shot....thats just silly. Do you need some examples?

What do I like about the eighties? Not much after 83', up till then, Jerrys guitar sound, some inspired performances (though not as often after 77), some good new tunes...etc

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Poster: skuzzlebutt Date: Mar 29, 2010 11:22am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: good things about the 80's (for the haties)

"I bet no one else can honestly agree with your statement about his voice being shot"

I can. Maybe in 1982 it wasn't the nasally croak it would become by 1985, but it had still decayed noticably since the mid 70s.

I don't really think Garcia was ever an especially good singer in the conventional sense anyway. Elvis Costello once said something to the effect that Jerry didn't have a good voice but he had the right voice for his songs, and I think I know what he meant by that. What Jerry did have going for him was a certain emotive quality in his singing, a certain way of phrasing lines, that made him engaging as a vocalist even when he couldn't hit the notes.

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Poster: mdewdcreek Date: Mar 29, 2010 12:07pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: good things about the 80's (for the haties)

Ok well I suppose everyone has their own opinion as to what a "shot" voice is (mentioned above). To me a good example would be Jerry beyond 84/85....before then he still sounded pretty good to these ears, though certainly not the singer he was in the 60-70's, but no where near "shot".

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Poster: notarealdoctor Date: Mar 29, 2010 3:55pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: good things about the 80's (for the haties)

Heresy alert:
I think Jerry's voice ripened and mellowed in the 80s. It was always expressive in a late Billie Holiday-kind of way. But the H may have actually improved his singing (loosens vocal chords - just ask Lady Day).
It did him few other or no other favors, musically or otherwise, however.

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Poster: direwolf0701 Date: Mar 29, 2010 11:38am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: good things about the 80's (for the haties)

"What Jerry did have going for him was a certain emotive quality in his singing, a certain way of phrasing lines, that made him engaging as a vocalist even when he couldn't hit the notes."

my thought EXACTLY!!! I try and convince my wife of this, but she will hear none of it ;)

(ok - maybe she likes some early studio garcia, but that is about all i can get her to listen to occasionally)

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Poster: skuzzlebutt Date: Mar 29, 2010 11:41am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: good things about the 80's (for the haties)

Been there, brother. First solo album, maybe Beauty or Workingman's...that's about all my wife can stand.

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Poster: lobster12 Date: Mar 29, 2010 12:03pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: good things about the 80's (for the haties)

One of the most painful things to hear is Garcia trying Dupree's Diamond Blues in 1985. Tough Stuff. Not the easiest song to begin with but man does he struggle during this time.

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Poster: RBNW....new and improved! Date: Mar 29, 2010 12:06pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: good things about the 80's (for the haties)

rather an 85 duprees that 2009 standing on the moon or candyman with weir singing.....talk about struggling!!

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Poster: skuzzlebutt Date: Mar 29, 2010 12:22pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: good things about the 80's (for the haties)

Agreed- some of those versions are simply brutal.

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Poster: deadpolitics Date: Mar 29, 2010 5:40pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: good things about the 80's (for the haties)

There are some good ones from the initial breakouts in '82!

Don't have an example off-hand but maybe someone here does?

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Poster: ringolevio Date: Mar 29, 2010 11:39am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: good things about the 80's (for the haties)

I would say (musical ignoramus opinion alert) ... Jerry sang well but never had a great voice. But we appreciate singers, and singing, for lots of things other than a great voice, and that's certainly the case with Jerry. There were qualities to his singing well beyond his voice, its range, its texture etc. I personally certainly see that his voice deteriorated steadily - I mean, everyone's does, doesn't it? It's just a truism. But that's different from saying I enjoy listening to him less later, which for me isn't the case. All but the most terrible voices can be enjoyable to listen to, and some people with terrible voices can sing well.

OTOH, I can see that if you actually are knowledgeable and appreciative of good voices, per se, listening to the later Jerry is probably a drag.

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Poster: William Tell Date: Mar 29, 2010 12:51pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: good things about the 80's (for the haties)

We have been over it many times, Ring-Lee-O, and I am somewhat in the minority in maintaining that the Jerry voice on Beaut/Work, was really good...idiosyncratic, but that's true of many...did he have the range and true "voice" of a Marty Balin or Jack Bruce? No, and I only mention those two to make certain we keep it in the "R&R" genre since we could really go off on a tangent on good voices, etc.

But, by 80, and esp 85, Jerry's voiced degraded for all those reasons we've discussed (trust, there are some that disagree with the two of us and say he got better!), drugs, smoking, wt gain, etc.

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Poster: ringolevio Date: Mar 29, 2010 2:02pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: good things about the 80's (for the haties)

well, we've long since established that I have no judgment - I like lots of things that knowledgeable deadheads disdain, apparently.

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Poster: William Tell Date: Mar 29, 2010 10:03am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: good things about the 80's (for the haties)

I would say that except for studio efforts, his voice was shot...I was going from 74-82, and the last few yrs he just couldn't hold a candle to what he did in 70. He lost the high range, often was sick (colds, sore throat, etc.).

Now, does that mean he's incapable of pulling off a decent Peg-O or CFingers? No, he could do that...still; but it was the exception. His voice was generally hit or miss depending on health, tour schedule and drug use, etc., etc.

Would I say it was completely shot--unlistenable? No, of course not--and maybe that's where you and I agree...but you gotta understand I am coming from loving the 60s and early, early 70s, and just don't hear the same Jerry (and wouldn't expect it after ten yrs of such abuse as we've so often discussed).

So, some folks might like the gravelly, rough, lack of high notes and so on, but I view it as he did: "I couldn't sing HTime well in 1970 in the studio" (his quote about wishing someone that could sing would sing it), so I imagine if it was even more difficult for him to do it in 80, he'd be harder on himself than me...

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Poster: Dudley Dead Date: Mar 29, 2010 4:23pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: good things about the 80's (for the haties)

It is funny, but I like "High Time" in the 89-91 period , more that I do earlier, for me I think that scrawl suits the song more ,( again, for me ).
But I suspect one of the problems he had with some of those early songs, was he couldn't hit the notes . As "Deadheads", we overlook those last notes in "Morning Dew" say, and enjoy the overall, "feel" being conveyed . Lots of shell, but the meat is great . None of the Dead were "natural" singers , but in Jerry's case the overall soulfulness in his singing usually carried the day . There are ,thousands of singers more accomplished, but few , even in when he was not on, I would rather hear .
Listen to that version of "Dark as a Dungeon", with Grisman , his voice is not "strong", but he gives me goosebumps with the emotional power of the performance . He was the "real deal".

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Poster: William Tell Date: Mar 29, 2010 4:57pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: good things about the 80's (for the haties)

Yup; Hunter talks about his "reedy sound" and the fact that he wasn't capable of being a so called "all around great singer", but we would all agree that his voice was full and meaningful to all of us, and just right in that regard...I just think that in general, having agreed on that, he was at the peak of his idiosyncratic, reedy/bluegrass/Americana style vocal abilities earlier than later due to all the effects of smoking, drugs, etc., etc.

But in any case, I think we're largely on the same page.

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Poster: billydlions Date: Mar 29, 2010 5:03pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: good things about the 80's (for the haties)

Hey Tell, I really dont disagree that Workingman's and American Beauty were Jerry's studio peak. I still think I like his live singing better in 1977 for whatever the reasons (smoking, drugs, maturity?)

Just out of curiosity are there any singers you liked better as they got older? I always liked Sinatra's rat pack years better than his early days, so perhaps I'm more drawn to a mature/raspy voice even if some range is lost (and you know he smoked non stop). I'm trying to think of the other bands I like, Led Zep, Rush, etc but there doesnt seem to be much variation. Not sure how I feel about the Beatles other than I like their later albums better, but perhaps for other reasons.

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Poster: William Tell Date: Mar 29, 2010 5:37pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: good things about the 80's (for the haties)

tough one BD; largely cause I really like "first efforts" of so many of may favs to begin with, often not vocally related though (you know, thinking so and so's first album or two were best, etc.; common for many it seems?).

I can think of some for which their voice didn't change much, so I still like them as they age, but not many that I would say "oh, yeah--this person actually sounds more mature or some such and I like them better as a result".

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Poster: mdewdcreek Date: Mar 29, 2010 10:26am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: good things about the 80's (for the haties)

Yeah ok I can agree with you here. And if Cliff meant something along these lines, then I retract my previous comments. I love the 60-70's as well and agree that his voice was much smoother and with better range during those periods. I guess we only have a difference in opinion on what a "shot" voice is:). To me Jerry sounded different after 77' (and not in a good way), and after 83' or so, sounded pretty damn bad for most part...at least to these ears.

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Poster: deadpolitics Date: Mar 29, 2010 5:08pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: good things about the 80's (for the haties)

During good nights in the 80's his vocal delivery was just as effective as his peak in the early 70's.

11-22-1972 is a show that I've been listening to recently that features some amazing vocal work from Jerry on Bird Song - he sounds angelic and articulates everything so well.

I love '83 most for the H>S>F revival.

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Poster: William Tell Date: Mar 29, 2010 11:30am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: good things about the 80's (for the haties)

Yep; we agree, and CLIFF, well CLIFF was just pulling your chain.

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Poster: SomeDarkHollow Date: Mar 29, 2010 6:58am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: good things about the 80's (for the haties)

I like the drumming AND vocals from 8/27/83 http://www.archive.org/details/gd83-08-27.aud.hinko.16439.sbeok.shnf. In particular, the opening to Esau has a fantastic beat set up by the devils. Jerry's vocals througout the first set are outstanding (check the Deal, especially the end). Clear and powerful, with a few of those deep throated growls that he developed as his voice "weathered" (another term for downed a few more packs of Marlboros). True, when it was bad, it was truly horrendous (nothing like a train wreck of a Terrapin to show that), but his ability to reach down and shake your soul on the slower tunes like the Morning Dew from Augusta seemed to grow over the years. But that's all just me, of course.

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Poster: deadpolitics Date: Mar 29, 2010 11:38am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: good things about the 80's (for the haties)

I don't think I've ever heard your recommendation, will check it out this afternoon...

http://www.archive.org/details/gd1982-07-18.fob.senn421-m160.wise.miller.102501.flac16

SWEET Crazy Fingers even though Jerry fumbles a few words (not lines!)

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Poster: billydlions Date: Mar 29, 2010 4:43pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: good things about the 80's (for the haties)

deadpolitics,

I'm not sure I can agree or disagree with the premise of your question/statement. I've read that when Phil's on, the whole band is on or when Jerry is on, etc etc.

Sometimes I even wonder about statements that Phil is on when it's simply Phil is higher in the mix than normal. (and of course there are shows where he seems to be more active). I think it's safe to say that Jerry needed to be challenged and usually rose to the occasion when he was pushed by Keith, Brent, Phil, Bruce, Branford, etc.

I think 3-9-81 is the best show of the 80's. 9-4-80 ranks high on my list as does 8-10-82. The common denominator that I see is Jerry's playing, so I would lean toward the statement that when Jerry is on it'll be a good show. Perhaps it was the drummers that inspired him? Keys? I really don't know but I'm glad to see some 80's supporters around here.

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Poster: deadpolitics Date: Mar 29, 2010 5:12pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: good things about the 80's (for the haties)

3-9-81 is a great show. 3-2-81 is also Fantastic - the opening Shakedown is very well delivered. Once again, I will have to throw in 9-5-82 (at the very least for the opening Playin > Shakedown).

I too have heard about when Phil is on the band is on, but I just wanted to share an observation about the tightness of the drummers being very inspiring. My biggest gripe with the 80's, apart from Jerry's decline, is when the drummers overplay and make everything way too busy. When Billy and Mickey hit the 1 together all is well :)